I first want to apologize that this post is a little late. I only just finished the new season of Arrested Development. As chronicled last time I wrote explicitly about the show, I decided to re-watch the entire thing just as Season 4 was released on Netflix. I figured it was a low-risk move, because even if I hated the new season, I’d still have enjoyed the first 3/4 of what I just watched. And I think one month is pretty respectable, given that I have a full-time “job”… and given all the time I waste writing here.
Fortunately, I didn’t hate the new season, though I understand if you got that sense from the title of this post. I mean, it was certainly different from Seasons 1-3 — it felt like the storyline of a single episode played in really, really slow motion — and, I would be willing to admit, worse. But really, the original series was a pretty high bar to clear, and I didn’t expect Season 4 to reach that standard going in, so I finished up mostly pleased with the results. My apologies to those of you who believe it was a travesty. Ask for your money back, I guess.
In any event, let’s get to that highlight I promised. There were certainly plenty of other “moments” throughout the fifteen new episodes, but after I noticed the joke I’m about to share, I knew the season would turn out alright. As Episode 1 begins, Ron Howard introduces his viewers to Cinco de Cuatro:
It was May *clears throat* it was May 4, and in the bayside town of Newport Beach, the annual celebration known as Cinco de Cuatro was underway. The Holiday started as a particularly vicious response by a young Lucille Bluth to the Mexican Holiday… of Cinco de Mayo.
And so, before we get a glimpse of the original characters we’ve waited years to see, the viewers are treated to Kristen Wiig, Seth Rogen, and Dr. Seuss. Even as someone who just said he was mildly pleased with the overall product, I’m willing to admit this was a lame opening. So what in that bit do I consider the highlight of the entire season?
Cinco de Cuatro: May the Fourth (be with you). What’s the joke here? Well, there’s the obvious Spanish fail: “Fifth of Fourth” is probably not what Lucille was going for. And Barack Obama was roundly ridiculed for making the same mistake back in 2009 [note that the two most-liked comments on that video, as of the time of this writing, are “He made a huge mistake,” and “Hello darkness my old friend”]. But these are all pretty silly — is there anything more to see here than a cheap gag?
I believe Yes — a cheap, dirty gag:
The way it’s written, that ‘a’ looks pretty tightly-wound and poorly-defined. I read that sign the first time as Cinco de Cu_tro, and I’m more than convinced this is all a thinly-veiled Seaward joke. And since I couldn’t find anyone else pointing it out online (where it appears to have been covered rather exhaustively), I either just made a unique and original contribution to the internet, or — at worst — just made a huge tiny mistake.